This interview was conducted on the Nuestra Palabra show at KPFT Houston studios on December 24, 2019.

Founded by Panamanian-Jamaican artist, Raul Orlando Edwards, Latin Week Houston is the result of over 25 years of performances, productions and community engagement. A journey that began in 1993, Raul has always understood the power the arts have in bringing communities together, in raising awareness on issues, and in transforming lives in a positive way. The City of Houston’s growth in population continues to attract people from around the world which has earned it the designation as “Most Diverse City”. Though an honorable distinction, many areas of the arts do not reflect this fact, especially when looking at Latin American arts presentations. The latter, almost exclusively focuses on the European influences with very little regard to the other major areas that are part of the culture. It is accurate to say that Latin American culture is not Latin American without the Indigenous, the European, the Gypsy and the African. For so long, little or no attention has been given to the undeniable influence Indigenous and African contributions have had in the shaping of the arts, culture and lifestyle in Latin America. This lack of representation was one of the factors that inspired Latin Week Houston. Another factor in the artist’s vision was the fact that though the City of Houston ranks in the top five most populated cities in the country, it did not have an event that strongly and permanently presented the convergence of cultures, music and traditions in one event. Our mission is simple: showcase all influences with dignity and respect while preserving Latin American arts for years to come. From the traditional to current trends, Latin Week Houston’s incredible roster of artists seeks to expose the City of Houston and beyond, with the beauty, the passion and the exuberant energy contained in the many influences that contributed in making Latin American arts what they are today.

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